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What's the Deal with Promoted Posts?

As many of you probably noticed, Facebook recently came out with another new feature to give status updates increased visibility on users’ news feeds.

Not just for brands but individuals as well, promoted posts are an easy and fast way to reach more of the people that Like your page and your friends, according to the folks at Facebook.

So how does it work? Any post that is less than three days old is eligible to be promoted. Depending on the number of “Likes” your page has, you can opt to pay $5, $10, $15 even $100 to promote a status update. (Note: the budget you set is a lifetime budget and not a daily budget.) Next to the proposed dollar amount, Facebook will give you an estimate as to how many people your promoted post may reach. The more “Likes” you have, the more you may have to pay to reach a greater percentage of your audience.

Just like with a regular status update, you can also target posts based on specific location or language. However, I would suggest only using this feature if absolutely necessary since it may reduce the reach of your post.

Once a post is promoted, it will show up in news feeds for up to three days from when it was first created. When a user “Likes” the post, comments or shares, their friends will see it as well.

You may be wondering if a promoted post will appear the same as all the other non-promoted posts in the news feed. After all, do we really want others to know that we paid for them to see our content? Despite my wishful thinking, this doesn’t seem to be the case. Promoted posts will be labeled as “Sponsored” in the news feed to indicate that the page owner purchased the placement. Wah-Waah.

So I don’t particularly care for people to know that I had to pay to get others to see my post. On the flipside, if a promoted post is providing something of value, such as a deal or special offer, I imagine that people might appreciate the fact that you are willing to spend money to make sure they see your post.

One good thing about promoted posts is that you are able to see how a post is performing. You can also choose to pause a promoted post, or stop it altogether. If you pause a promotion or delete the promoted post, your promotion will no longer run and you will no longer be billed. If a promoted post turns out to be a flop, no biggie.

So, are Facebook promoted posts worth it? For brand pages, I think so. There’s nothing wrong with budgeting a few dollars a month to promote a status update or two, given the content you’re promoting is of value and worth the expense. I actually think it’s one of the more helpful tools Facebook has introduced as of lately. With the increasing number of friends a user has and pages liked, it’s easy for posts to get lost or left out of the news feed entirely. I say if you have a flexible budget to experiment with, why not give it a try?

Facebook outlines some best practices for the types of post that should be promoted. They include:

· Vibrant photos and videos

· Offers

· Exclusive events or news

· Questions

What’s your take on promoted posts? Are you planning on trying it out? Have you done so already? Was it worth it?